Arkansas Plays Best At End To Win

Going on the road with a chance to take the whip hand in the Southeastern Conference Western Division basketball race, the Alabama Crimson Tide played winning basketball for about 37 of the 40 minutes. But it's a 40-minute game, and Arkansas was best in the final minute of the first half and the last two minutes of the game, which gave the Razorbacks the victory.

Alabama was never headed until the final two minutes of the game in Fayetteville, but careless play down the stretch contributed to Arkansas taking a 70-65 win.

Alabama had as much as a 10-point lead in the first half, but the Razorbacks got two baskets--a two and a three--in the final moments of the opening stanza to cut the Tide lead to only 33-29 at halftime. The Hogs did not have a lead in the game until the final two minutes. Even so, Bama was in good position to win. Freshman point guard Trevor Releford had played the entire game without a turnover, but had two costly miscues in the final seconds.

The Razorbacks outscored Bama 13-5 over the final four minutes of the game.

Alabama is now 10-7 overall and 2-1 in SEC games. Arkansas is also 2-1 in the SEC and improved to 12-4 overall.

After opening league play with a 2-0 record for the first time since 2002, Alabama has its work cut out to avoid a two-game losing streak. Next up for Bama is Kentucky. The Crimson Tide hosts the Wildcats at 8 p.m. CST Tuesday in Coleman Coliseum.

Alabama Coach Anthony Grant was given a warning by the crack SEC officiating crew. The miracle is that he didn't get a technical foul. Curious officiating is nothing new, and the disparity in foul calls was critical to the final result. Arkansas shot 35 free throws and made 24. That was more than enough to make the difference in the game as Bama hit 17-22 foul shots.

Alabama had a final possession with the Hogs holding a three-point lead at 68-65. Charvez Davis, the only Alabama player who has had any real success on three-point shots, tried a long one that missed the mark.

Grant gave credit to Arkansas for playing "with great energy. Arkansas is tough to beat here. They haven't lost a home game."

The Tide coach was not satisfied with Bama play at the end of the first half or the end of the game. "We didn't do well enough to win," he said.

"I thought it was a hard-played, well-played game by both teams for the most part," he said. "We had some opportunities, but you have to give them credit.

"This is a tough loss."

Alabama made more field goals than Arkansas. The Razorbacks made only 22 of 52 from the field, including only 2-9 on three-point shots. Bama was only slightly better, 23-53, including 2-10 on treys. Alabama out-rebounded the Hogs, 39-32.

Alabama had 14 turnovers to only 9 by Arkansas (with the Razorbacks scoring 14 points off turnovers, Bama only 6). Surprisingly, Alabama had seven blocked shots, Arkansas -- the SEC leader in that category -- only four.

Alabama had 36 points in the paint, the Razorbacks 30.

Releford led Alabama with 17 points and also had four assists and four rebounds. JaMychal Green had 16 points with five rebounds and four blocked shots. Tony Mitchell had 14 points and five rebounds. Chris Hines had 12 rebounds and Senario Hillman came off the bnch to score nine points.

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